The ‘Bisley Blues’ is a phenomenon felt by many shooters as a result of leaving Bisley post-Imperial. For the OSRA, ‘Blues’ has a different meaning altogether: it signifies teamwork, rivalry, leadership, and a ceremonious bottle of whisky.
The OSRA Blues’ Match, now in its third year was designed to create a level playing field for shooters with mixed ability teams, as well as to provide an opportunity for different Old Suttonians to take on the role of Captain. Unique to 2021 was the addition of two current Suttonians, Daniel Wild and Callum Davis, as well as Kent and England shooter, Dr Yusef Ali.
|TEAM 1||TEAM 2||TEAM 3||TEAM 4|
|Freddie Pawlik (c) |
|Chris Dale (c) |
Callum Davis (SVS)
|Harry Percival (c) |
Daniel Wild (SVS)
Saturday Morning: Soft Skills
The Saturday morning was dedicated to plotting – a skill with graphs used to help centralise groups – and positional training with a SCATT system. While plotting can be a challenging skill to master, it provides shooters with data that they can use live on the point to help keep their shots in the bull. If nothing else, it is an essential skill for county and national team matches. The SCATT system, as run by Dr Ali on the morning, records data from a shooter’s process and presents it on a computer for accessible interpretation. It was an unusually technical, but no less valuable, start to the weekend.
Saturday Afternoon: the Tyro and the Phoenix Matches
With teams ready, ammunition supplied and the morning training fresh in Suttonian minds, the club was ready for the afternoon matches. The Tyro Match is a straightforward shoot, most closely resembling the kind of shooting shot by school students: 2 convertible sighters and 7 rounds to count are shot at 300x. For the Phoenix Match, we moved back to 600x with 2 sighters and 10 to count.
With the first score of the day being Harry Percival’s 35.6 (ex. 35.7), the bar was set high by Team 3’s Captain. Harrison Sharpe, Mike Bromley, and Anthony Bromley all followed with 35s, maintaining the excellent standard. At 600x, the wind was steady for the first detail, allowing Team 1 to drop only 6 points – 144.13/150.30 – but Team 2 stole the day with a 146.15, aided by an excellent HPS of 50.7 by Captain Chris Dale. Harriet Aburn and Harrison Sharpe should both be commended for shooting 49s at 600x, and Harrison should be especially proud of only dropping one point all day. As Dr Ali noted, these are county-level scores.
No less impressive were the performances of the Suttonians present. Callum Davis scored 34.3 and 48.7, beating many of the Old Suttonians, while Daniel Wild scored an excellent 48.7 at 600x and an admirable 68.5 at 1000x. The OSRA looks forward to Callum and Daniel joining the club in the future and is delighted that it can provide a platform through which young, aspiring shooters can hone their skills and learn from more seasoned marksmen and women.
Sunday Morning: the Pegasus Match
After Saturday, scores were tight: Team 2 was leading by just 2 points. The Match, however, is often won at 1000x, being the most challenging distance, where marksmen must shoot at the very limits of target rifle equipment, in conditions where the wind has most impact and on the Bisley range of Stickledown, one of the most enigmatic in the world.
Team 1, led by Freddie Pawlik, was quick to get down, with Edward Ervine coaching Anthony Bromley to a 70.8 (ex. 75.15). The philosophy of the team was to get shots down range early while the wind conditions were steady. Freddie Pawlik soon followed with a 69.5, while Chris Pawlik in Team 3 knocked in a 68.4. It was at this point that the wind began to steadily increase and become more changeable, resulting in many scores in the low-60s, serving to scramble the leaderboard.
Ultimately, under the excellent leadership of Freddie Pawlik, and with the team decision to make the most of good conditions, Team 1 was able to clinch victory of both the Pegasus Match and the Blues’ Match as a whole.
This was a memorable endpoint to an excellent year for the OSRA. The Blues’ Match is a special event in that it accommodates not only Old Suttonians, but also Suttonians and Kent shooters; it encourages growth from school to county shooting and beyond. It is club matches such as these that we hope will cement our status as the ‘future of Kent’. We now look ahead to our Open Day on 20th November at the SVS range, at which anyone from the SVS community is welcome.